The Michelin Guide is an annual publication of restaurant ratings, first published in 1900, a reliable destination for foodies anywhere on the planet. The Michelin Design has expanded to include cities outside of Europe or North America, including Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, or Bangkok. Miami is one of those cities, or it is on the Michelin Guide’s radar for years. One question is, why do we not have any Michelin-starred restaurants? Although Miami is a foodie destination, in the Michelin design, it remains a one-star city.
From delicious ice cream stands to astonishing Cuban sandwiches to locally sourced seafood, there is a lot of quality cuisine in Miami. But, for whatever reason, the Michelin Guide doesn’t include restaurants in Miami in some world’s most fabulous restaurant awards. Sure, some aren’t “trendy” or fabulous, or some of those other adjectives that Michelin uses to describe their picks. But, the fact that Miami isn’t a Michelin favorite city is not because it isn’t worth it is salt. It’s simply because there are various fantastic dining options in the area, you have to know where to look.
What is Michelin Guide? It’s an international rating system, where the top restaurants are awarded three stars, and the next 14 are awarded two excellent. The ratings are compiled from reviews written by anonymous restaurant critics. Restaurants in control are evaluated based on each quality of their ingredients, execution of their cooking, and the personality of their chef. A star signifies an “excellent restaurant in its category, to be a Michelin-starred restaurant, you have to have “excellent cuisine, worth a special journey, as well as a charming and cozy atmosphere. There are also categories, including “chef of the year” and “young chef of the year, awarded to one of the most talented chefs under 35.
Some chefs here say a secret to Michelin stars lies in their ability to master signature dishes. But these chefs have always used gimmicks and shortcuts in the kitchen, so they cannot follow an Italian chef’s recipe for success; other restaurants have unique or not trendy food. Michelin guides prize innovative and creative chefs who can make classic dishes appealing to even not elite diners. Of course, not all have the budget or the time to consistently follow a chef’s recipe for success. The design is not really about one chef’s meal, but it’s about the entire experience of dining out. How do Michelin-starred cooks even influence those who don’t have access to the best restaurants in this world?
According to Michelin Design spokesman Michael Ellis, Michelin does not have Michelin star restaurants in Miami in the local cuisine. Miami’s cuisine is not as complex as in other markets since you don’t have French cooks. And there’s not that much Japanese influence, so there’s not a ton of Asian persuasion, Ellis said. Michelin is a regional director; it only guides the best restaurant in the country.
As Ellis is well aware, the growth of local restaurants and the wide variety of culinary experiences in Miami is nothing to take lightly. That being said, there are still more than 100 luxurious restaurants awarded one star by the Michelin Guide. And if there were only one star in Miami, it would be hard to keep track of all of them.
Three Miami restaurants currently hold a Michelin star. The first is the Doral’s Otto Mezzo Ristorante and Wine Bar, which has held a rating of three stars since 2011. It is an Italian restaurant that consistently produces beautiful dishes and is a fine dining experience. The other two are Benihana, which has been awarded three stars since 1993, and a casual spot called Mana, which is given one Michelin star since 2009. “Michelin star” restaurants in Miami: The list of restaurants in Miami having three stars is short, and there are certainly more suitable options in the city. One is the beloved Baco Mercato, which has given two Michelin recognition since 2002 and serves contemporary Cuban dishes.
Miami has many options for banquets, particularly restaurants in the downtown area, but it still fails to score any Michelin favorites. And it’s not the dining destinations’ fault, per se. It’s more likely a lack of Michelin recognition and the tricky cuisine in Miami. The Michelin Guide has expanded to include several more categories to include the international fare. Dining options on Miami’s Upper East Side are several, but chefs only need one star to get a mention in the model.
Banquet in Miami still requires the complex dishes that the area is best known for. Take, for example, the delectable ceviche from Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in the South Beach area. Even though the restaurant does not offer a star, it still receives any recognition from the Michelin Guide.